Family’s fury as police called to Lidl after ID row over rhubarb gin 

A FURIOUS mother-of-two has slammed a supermarket giant’s ‘ridiculous’ ID policy after police were called to calm a row over a bottle of rhubarb-flavoured gin.

Jackie Chandler from Denmead was in Lidl with her husband Gary and their two teenage daughters when she went to pay for their family shop and head home.

The Lidl store in Elettra Avenue, Waterlooville. Picture: Google Street View

The Lidl store in Elettra Avenue, Waterlooville. Picture: Google Street View

But as she stood with her purse at the ready, the 41-year-old’s plans were scuppered when the cashier asked her eldest daughter, 14-year-old Ella-May, for ID because her parents’ trolley contained a bottle of gin.

Read more: How Facebook reacted to the Lidl rhubarb gin ID row

Despite arguing the booze was for herself and Gary, who is 43, Jackie was denied the purchase at the Elettra Avenue store, in Waterlooville, and made her frustrations known.

‘We were shocked when the cashier asked because we thought he was talking about us,’ the retail worker said. 

Jackie Chandler with her husband Gary Sprake and their daughters Rosa-May, left, and Ella-May, right. Picture: Sarah Standing

Jackie Chandler with her husband Gary Sprake and their daughters Rosa-May, left, and Ella-May, right. Picture: Sarah Standing

‘But when we found out he meant our daughter, I thought “he cannot be serious”.

‘There is no way we would let her take a sip of alcohol, let alone buy a bottle.’ 

Calling the policy ‘ridiculous’, Jackie attempted to state her case while Gary got on the phone to the supermarket’s head office. 

But that did not help to quell the impatience of shoppers queuing behind the pair at the checkout.

Jackie said: ‘There was already a 15 to 20-minute wait to get to the till so people weren’t happy.

‘A couple of other shoppers were telling us to move on and one even offered to make a citizen’s arrest on us. 

‘But when another lady saw we weren’t moving, she picked up all our shopping and threw it on the floor.’ 

As tempers escalated, someone at the store called the police. 

Jackie said: ‘The officer I spoke to couldn’t believe he’d been called out – we weren’t doing anything wrong. 

‘We joked because it must’ve been his easiest job of the day.’ 

Gary Sprake – who attempted to buy the gin alone at another till, but was refused – said he and his wife Jackie were ‘victims of stupidity’.

‘Lidl should be ashamed of themselves,’ he said. 

‘I wonder where the line on this policy is drawn. If I had a four-year-old in a pushchair, would I not be able to get a drink? 

‘And if I do go back to that store, which is unlikely, will I not be able to buy alcohol because they know I have a daughter? The whole thing is ridiculous.’ 

Going on to leave the store with no shopping at all, Jackie said she now feels ‘too embarrassed’ to return there – and claims her children are ‘worried’ to go shopping as a family again because they ‘feel like they did something wrong’. 

A Lidl spokesperson said: ‘It is never our intention for a customer to be dissatisfied in any way, however we are committed to selling alcohol responsibly.

‘Whilst these actions may appear over-cautious, we support our colleagues in using their own judgement to uphold our 'Think 25' policy and, where there is any element of doubt, making the right decision.

‘Under no circumstances do we tolerate abusive behaviour towards our colleagues.’ 

Hampshire police confirmed they were called to the ‘ongoing dispute’ at Lidl, in Elettra Avenue Waterlooville, at 6.40pm on September 29.